It all started when a bunch of dudes who grew up in the 90s got together and created rock n’roll. Years later, through many downfalls and dark times, they have become who we know now as Wilson. Now they are back stronger than ever before. We had the pleasure of sitting down with lead singer Chad Nicefield, who took us through the revelation and experiences that led where they are now, including a trip to Asia experimenting with LSD. Read more to discover how they found their voice by not giving a fuck and how they are able to enlighten fans with their energetic, fun personalities and make great music.
Molly Manuszewski/I’m Music Magazine: I know you have just released an album. I‘d like to hear more about what that album means to you. I know you changed your sound. You said in a couple of interviews that Wilson went through some dark periods and you began experimenting with LSD which led to the album Tasty Nasty. How do you feel that that has helped your whole band find it’s voice?
Chad Nicefield/Wilson: I don’t know that it’s helped my band, but I know that its helped me. You know everybody deals with things differently and everybody’s searching for something on their own accord. I think that what I was searching for was important for me because I’m a part of a group of people that play music together and are very close friends.They supported that search that I went on and coming back I had some pretty adventitious ideas and they were supportive enough to let me bring them to the table. Then on top of that, I think that all of us kind of realized we were feeling and thinking the same thing when those were brought to the light through of all that. So, I think it helped us kind of, I would have to say it did a really great job of bringing us back to the start and bringing us back to a place that put us mentally in a spot that made the reason why we’re doing this and why we started doing this. If it didn’t make sense to anybody else I think at that moment in time it didn’t really matter because it was so clear to us. I don’t know if you’ve ever been a part of anything where there’s a group of people working on something and you feel so strongly about the thing that you’re working on, and you’re all aligned, and the entirety of your collective beings is put out into the world to make this thing- to breathe and live and what not. Have you had an experience like that like through college or high school, are you creative, do you work in a group of people any sort of fashion like theater or something like that?
Oh yeah, definitely I totally understand, I mean I’m in college right now.
Yeah, so when you get those people together, there’s like nothing that can stop you, even though there’s many things that can stop you in your mind, there’s nothing that can stop you. I think that’s what we really achieved through that process collaboratively.
So would you say that you guys have grown as a band since then?
Oh yeah, it’s like regression growth. I think that like again, us coming back to the place that it all started for us, the time period of our lives when we started to play music, to pick up our instruments and to really find our own inside of a crazy like teenage world. That regression was remembering all of those feelings and putting them back on the table. You know, that helped us grow forward as human beings in today’s world where there’s so many negatives pushing against you, people that are expecting something from you that you are not even willing to deliver but have to and that can be extremely depressing in many ways. And I think that we grew as a band in that way, where we went back to that mind-set and put it in today’s world if that makes any sense.
Oh it totally does. So now you can kind of see a brighter future for you guys looking ahead after that is what it sounds like to me. So, after you had that revelation did you begin the song writing process for the album there, before the trip, or did it start happening after?
It started before the trip to be honest with you. This record was shaping up to be entirely darker than what you would be listening to right now. I don’t even know if it was shaping up to be entirely darker, we were just writing songs because of the place we were in that period of time as people and our anger and angst we had inside because of things that were happening around us in our own business world and what not. None of those songs made the record obviously, but some of their early stages, like guitar riffs and ideas that were really cool, they did find themselves inside of the record. So, I’d definitely say it started there and then continued to more change throughout the process of what I did and coming back, that’s when I took the micro-dosing LSD trip for nine months and continued to write more songs. The entirety of writing and making that record was a little over a year of our lives, but 9 months of it was I think the blunt of it all, really pushing for something that we ended up delivering. And I was on LSD.
What would you say your ultimate goal in how you wanted to come across was for Tasty Nasty?
This could very well of been our last record. Jason, our guitar player, quit the band before we even started to make this record, but we made a pact together that we would finish this record because of how much work and time we put into it. He’s the original founding member of the band; I came in about a year after. I think our goal was far achieved because not only did we finish the record and put it out, but Jason is still in the band. And for us, if this is going to be our last hoorah then we need the world to know who we are as people, you know that we’re fun loving guys. We need to put a record out that feels like the mix tape of who we are as humans, and that DNA that we can look back onto and really be proud of. I think we achieved what we wanted to achieve already and it’s only a week, not even a week into the release of our record. So, whatever happens after this is just fucking cherries on the top, you know.
That’s awesome. So, how’s it been since the release? Does it feel different from the past albums?
Yeah, every day is a celebration, I get to talk to you, you know. It’s strange, some people probably hate talking about making their record, especially if you’re making overly emotionally pieces of music and trying to explain that place, that mindset you’re in or were in during the creation of that can probably be very depressing and sad if you had to pull your guts back out and throw them on the table and re-open that wound to promote a record. Unfortunately, I should say fortunately, but unfortunately, I don’t have to open up any of those wounds. I get to talk to people like you. And yeah there’s wounds but we healed them, we literally fucking put new skin on top of ourselves, you know. And I get to talk about that with you. So, every day is a celebration. It’s been riviting to watch the overwhelming support come in, not only just the reviews and the interviews, but our friends, family and the strangers that we don’t know on the internet just chiming in about how fun it is. All we wanted to do was make a fun record that we could live with and smile with for 30 seconds during this fucking miserable life that we live in, you know.
Haha, definitely. How did you guys come up with the album title of Tasty Nasty?
So, Tasty Nasty was almost the title for our record in 2015. The band, again, kept tabbing back into the weirdness of our people. We often times create these fake characters on tour where like they have back stories and voice and all this shit and we get into like complete acting roles and carry this shit out for a long period of time. And in 2015 we were over in Europe with Halestorm and Nothing More, and we had been sharing a bus with Nothing More at that time, and I came up with this character whose name is Rex Rufkin, and the reason he existed was we was a blogger for Calabasas California that ran away from home to become the best blogger whole entire world. “So he had like a surfer accent bro” (surfer accent voice,) and his thing was he was super annoying and he would but into everybody’s personal life. And ask all these questions so whenever they would give an answer, negative or positive, he would answer “oh yeah that’s tasty nasty bro,” and that kind of kept going and going and going. But to uncover another layer of that when talking about the record title, you have to go through the sour to get to the sweet you know. That’s what Tasty Nasty really means, but it’s also hilarious.
Yeah, and I like the fun vibe of your band and your recently released music video was super fun, I really liked that. how do you think you guys were able to keep that Wilson trademark and kind of put it into this album even though you kind of changed a little bit of it up?
I think the only thing that’s changed is that we decided to bring those people I was talking to you about behind the scenes, to the forefront. The people who we were, who we are I should say, on a daily basis, our DNA, our weird sense of humor and dumb antics. The parts of us that keep us sane doing other things, because we get to laugh, we get to enjoy each other. I think the only thing that really changed in this particular record was we just stopped giving a fuck about not letting people know who we were.
So, would you say the last couple albums you were trying to portray something you didn’t feel was you?
Mmh, no because especially with Full Blast Fuckery. I don’t think there was ever a moment in our lives where we stopped to think about what we were doing. In particular I think that these two records kind of mirror each other in that sense, because there was nobody there to tell us that we couldn’t or could do anything. We didn’t have a label. Since we made a record and put it out and it just got in the internet, then went on toured and got these offers, and I don’t know haha. We were just played as these kids going to college trying to get free beer on the weekends, so we made a band. This is just our release being like, let’s just play fucking rock n roll music, dumb some beers on us on the weekends. And I would have to say the middle of this journey we were like, ok now there’s money on line, there’s a label and all these things going on. There’s more pressure to fit in or something. And I don’t think we ever weren’t those people for sure, I always describe it like shoving a square through a circle, they cut off the edges. And we just kind of grew those back with Tasty Nasty, even though it doesn’t sound like a freaking heavy record, it is. It’s heavy to think about just bearing it all. So that’s what we did.
What I get from it is just your overall vibe is making everything funny and not taking life too seriously and that’s what I vibe with personally.
So I like that a lot and I like how you guys start off the album with “Dumptruck”, I feel like it sort of gives a nice kick in the face with chanting and really brings in the new vibe. So, its super awesome and I enjoyed it.
You’re welcome. What made you guys choose ‘Like a Baller’ as your single?
I think it was pretty obvious. Think it has a little bit of all the things that the record has in it. It’s going to rub people the wrong way and that was very important for us. We didn’t want to play it too safe and the first look of what we were looking to do. I think “Like a Baller” has this humility of us, the comedic value of us, the playability, you know all the things that the record encompasses it’s in that song. And it’s hilarious. It’s funny when people are like, “who the fuck does this dude think he is trying to be a baller.” I don’t think you get it man. It’s supposed to be funny. So for us this was supposed to be the obvious choice when you put it on the table. We didn’t want to go too hard with “Summertime Treat” or something like that. And we didn’t want to white with something like “Dumptruck” you know. But still have that heavy sounds even though the lyrics are “this shit bumps, this shit fucks, this shit dumps like a dumptruck.” We knew that the riffage would lead people to believing something completely different than the rest of the record.
Yeah for sure. Have you guys had the chance to sing a couple of your songs while on tour?
Yeah, we recently finished a tour with Theory of a Deadman and we played 70% of our set was all new music. We played one cover and two old songs. So yeah, we’ve been out there playing our new music as much as we can and as we continue through this cycle that pretty much will be our only focus.
The overall reaction of your fans has been pretty good then?
I’d have to say overwhelmingly great. There’s always going to be some negative Nancys out there, especially with a change like that. But again, as it might all seem on the surface, it’s a bright shiny box inside of it there’s layers, and one of those is the complete I don’t give a fuck about you not enjoying this record because it probably wasn’t mad for anyways. Not to say I’m trying to put anybody on the outside, but you’re doing it to yourself by not opening up your mind. So, if that’s the place you want to find yourself and if you’re looking for a band like that there’s plenty of them out there and I hope you find it. And maybe we’ll see you later on down the road when you change your mind.
Yeah and as a fan it’s fun to watch a band you love grow and become something great. So, you want those kinds of followers with you.
I absolutely agree.
Anything else that you can tell me about the process of this album no one knows yet?
I don’t know if there’s anything really much more I can tell you about the process. I mean other than, I think the easiest way to digest what you’re looking into is you have to remember that we were teenagers in the early 90s and grew up cutting our teeth, playing music, and becoming the human beings that we are through creativity and our antics of being angsty. So, whatever it is during that period of time. If someone’s like, “it sounds like this decade”. Yeah, it might come definitely come across that way strictly because of that regression we talked about and going back to the start to finding a new beginning. So that’s all I can really say about it.
Okays, I like to ask this question, and I know typically it’s a hard question, but do you have a favorite song on album?
Yeah, I do have a favorite song on the record, I would say I have two favorite songs on the record. They’re different for different reasons. If I were to be playing my own record, which I have, I seem to play “Fuck Up My High” more than any of the other songs. I don’t know exactly why, but its typically the song that I’ll play if I was going to listen to my record right now. Second to that I think it’s tied with “Like A Baller” and “Money.” “Money” is the most collaborative effort on our record, it’s like the old ethos and idea of five dudes in a room making a fuckin’ tune, you know. That song embodies what happens in a practice room with us working together on a riff and a vocal idea and coming together naturally the way that records used to be put together. So, I always revert to that to think about the process of the record because I can see us in that room, if that makes any sense.
By Contributing Writer for I’m Music Magazine Molly Manuszewski
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